Editorial: Extending help needs no big game

Jan. 28, 2014 @ 11:35 PM

One year ago this week, we shared a message. We offer it again, although with a little more time for those wishing to make a difference.

Sunday is super in football, but it can also be a Souper Bowl day for local congregations.

And here’s how.

The big game is Sunday evening, Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey and honestly, New York City. For once, life in the city of the game really won’t revolve around the game itself — such is the case of a city that never sleeps, always has a pulse no matter the hour or the day.

Across the country, however, there’s the Souper Bowl of Caring.

A seminary intern in a Columbia, S.C., Presbyterian church offered a prayer in 1990 that inspired the idea of youth collecting money and canned goods, then donating to local charities of their choice.

The gathering now includes drives and service projects that are well under way. In some worship services across the country this Sunday morning, youth and youth leaders will stand at the doors as the congregation exits, holding large soup pots. Congregants will drop in $1 bills, some maybe more.

The first year in Columbia, youth from 22 churches gave $5,700 to area non-profits. More than two decades later, a single year nationally raised more than $2 million in money and non-perishables (counted as a dollar each).

Each group decides which nonprofit(s) in their area are aided by the collection.

Henderson, Vance County and our neighboring counties have great needs daily. Nonprofit shelters and agencies are available to help. And yes, the need never ends.

Regardless of participation in the Souper Bowl by groups nearby, know that donations are always welcomed.

There’s an open invitation to help, big game not included or necessary.

There will be many parties or gatherings on Sunday. What if the host asked everyone to do what some college and pro venues often do: bring a nonperishable? Someone could take the collection to a nonprofit in the area.

To whom much is given, there is great responsibility.

In closing, we offer the prayer from that intern, Brad Smith: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”